A collection of 26 late-'40s and early-'50s country hillbilly classics, heavy on the cornball end of things, Original Jukebox Hillbillies can't help but make you smile, and what these tracks lack in sophistication is more than made up in exuberant goofiness. Underneath it all is some inspired playing, though, and groups like the Hoosier Hot Shots are really small jazz combos masquerading as string bands, as their version of "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" makes clear. Some of these tracks are inexplicably strange, like Carson Robison's campy "Steamboat Keep a 'Rockin'," or the wheezing, accordion-led "Down at the Bottom of the Mountain" by Eddie Younger's Mountaineers, while others, like Bill Carlisle's "Are You Going to Leave Me Lil," approach the propulsive velocity of bluegrass. "Matchbox Blues," done here as an easy, fiddle-paced shuffle by the Shelton Brothers, is an obvious highlight. This sort of thing isn't for everyone, but collectors and historians of early country will find this disc fascinating, while casual listeners will find it unforgettable, if not memorable.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett